Does family pressure for non-disclosure of a cancer diagnosis interfere with patients’ ability to cope?




Althoff, Christine

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George Mason University


Withholding prognosis information was associated with anxiety and difficulty with patient and family communication. Singapore, Chinese and Japanese patients prefer to be informed of cancer diagnosis and disease progression. Physicians from all three Asian cultures frequently delivered prognosis information to the families and expect the family to make a decision about prognosis disclosure. The patient family groups preferred to hear the information together. The family group is more important than the individual patient. The concept of family centered decision-making being part of the “ principle of autonomy exists, but it is interpreted as concepts of the family rather than self- determination.” Patients expected the physician to provide emotional support to the family.


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